You've heard of a cat with nine lives - but a perky pooch named Poppy is testing that theory on canines.

When Terry Franklin's dog was viciously mauled by two bull-mastiff cross dogs in 2009, she was not expected to live. But by some miracle pulled through.

"She was badly injured, she could only hop on three legs. I would walk her down the driveway, then a little bit further, and after about three or four weeks she was away," he said.

Poppy defied the odds once again after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and given a year - it's been three and she is still fighting.


"She started losing balance and walking around in circles. She was later diagnosed. It makes her light headed and she has had a number of bad turns, but not for about three months. I have to feed her five to six times a day."

The black and white Jack Russell/Tibetan terrier cross was also visiting a faith healer, to make her more comfortable as the cancer progressed.

"I went around there and the woman was waving her hands over Poppy. She wasn't looking but her tail was wagging like anything. The last time, she was wagging her tail and then she lay down on her side and went to sleep."

Mr Franklin adopted his beloved companion from the SPCA when she was 4 and the pair fast became friends.

He would take her out for walks three or four times a day around Stortford Lodge, where the duo became well known.

"There was a lady at the Cycle Hub, who would come out with a treat when Poppy stood at the door and barked. A lady at Dunkeley's Pharmacy came out and give her a pat and to say hello. Pete at the fish and chip shop also gave her treats when she barked at the door. He once gave her a bone, as big as she is," Mr Franklin said.

After doing the rounds, man and his four-legged friend would stop off for a beer and bowl of water at the Storty Bar, where the other patrons knew their names.

Her quirks may have won over the hearts of many but Poppy could also be demanding, especially when it came to dinner time.